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The Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises

Gone are the days that you need to join a gym to get fit and burn fat, that’s right we all have the equipment needed to increase strength and see cardiovascular gains at home and I’m not talking about the all singing, dancing miracle abs chairs that promise to melt away body fat in just 10 minutes a day! These do not work by the way so turn off the shopping channel and put away your wallet, you don’t need to spend a penny to in order to achieve your weight loss or fitness goals, use your bodyweight.

That’s right bodyweight exercises are a simple, yet seriously under rated option to include in your workouts whatever your fitness level, check out the list of benefits on your overall physical wellbeing and try out some of the examples in your next session.

Efficient workouts: Bodyweight exercises allow for greater fitness gains in a shorter space of time than that of machines at the gym that work only one certain muscle at a time. They also allow you to combine your cardio and strength training in one quick workout that will keep your heart pumping while still promoting muscle development.

Try 50 jumping jacks followed by 20 press ups.

Fast fat burning: With a good body weight circuit you are utilizing your entire body, constantly working every muscle elevates your fat burning.

Try 50 jumping jacks followed by 20 press ups, add 25 squats and hold the plank for 1 minute.

Safety: Body weight exercises can have a reduced risk of injury compared to that of some gym routines, the movement of lifting weights can be quite awkward and when coupled with heavy weights can result in some painful injuries.

Try 10 burpees followed but 1 minute wall sit.

Natural results:Body weight exercises provide natural results, men become stronger and bigger while women end up with a more natural toned look that still allows them to be fit, strong and healthy.

Try 20 alternate lunges followed by 20 tricep dips.

Increased flexibility: Completing body weight exercises through the full range of motion, allowing joints to move freely can improve posture and flexibility.

As always, remember to stretch out all the muscles used at the end of your workout.

Go nuts with your snacks!

If your childhood was anything like mine, you can probably still hear the sound of your mother’s voice warning you not to eat in between meals, but actually the word “snack” has earned itself a bad reputation without foundation, snacking isn’t a bad thing, what matters is what and how much you snack on.

Snacking in between meals is the perfect chance to get extra nutrients, eating regularly maintains steady blood sugar levels which can prevent feelings of hunger and cravings and people who eat regularly tend to have a lower calorie intake than those who skip meals.

Unfortunately, I’m not talking about noshing on cookies and cupcakes, try adding some health boosting nuts to your day to reap the nutritional and weight loss rewards.

  • Almonds; rich in antioxidants to fight the signs of aging, serving size 23 nuts
  • Cashews; good source of magnesium to help strengthen bones and teeth, serving size 18 nuts
  • Walnuts; rich in omega 3 to reduce inflammation in the body, serving size 14 halves
  • Pistachios; source of potassium to promote healthy muscles and nervous system, serving size 49 kernels
  • Brazil Nuts; rich in selenium which can relieve the symptoms of arthritis, serving size 5 nuts

Stay tuned for more snacks that pack a nutritional punch!

Eat and Treat!

Hopefully from reading our blog over the past few months you can see that in order to achieve your weight loss goals, fad diets are not the answer. It is actually about a lifestyle change; becoming aware, educating your mind and changing your body.

Boy have we got something to make you smile today! When making the lifestyle changes required to reach and maintain your weight loss goals, you can still have your treats!

It is important to find a way of eating that suits your body and your weight loss goals but also allows you a treat, focussing on healthy nutritional choices all week but allowing yourself a treat meal on the weekend avoids the feeling of deprivation and will help you to control your desire for tempting foods; compared to trying to go cold turkey and cut out everything you desire which can result in cravings, feelings of failure if you give in and often binging on the desired foods, which starts a whole new cycle of emotions.

So we can see that the eat and treat method can actually help you out long term to achieve your goals, but it is important to prepare yourself for your treat.

  • Decide whether you are going to allow yourself a very small treat several times a week or one day to eat a more substantial treat
  • Once your treat time is over immediately, re-start your healthy eating regime. Do not use the treat as an excuse to over eat
  • Do not keep treats in the house the rest of the week. Buy only one serving size for your treat day, or re-size other portions if there are left overs and freeze straight away. “Out of sight out of mind!!!”
  • On the day of your treat, eat nutritious, filling foods that will help you avoid overeating due to hunger when it’s time for your treat
  • Do not think of your treat as an off limit food so you do not have feelings of guilt afterwards. Think of it as an allowable part of your healthy eating lifestyle
  • If you are eating out for your treat and you feel the portion size is too big, order a child’s or smaller portion or share with a friend

Get on your bike and ride!

If you’ve ever peered through the window of a spin studio and thought to yourself there is no way on earth you are stepping inside you are not alone, I think this is a common thought amongst those that have never tried group cycling and I very often hear people say they need to get fit before they start to spin. Well hopefully we can change that thought process, yes indoor cycling is one of the most intense interval sessions available but as I always say to newcomers the beauty is you are in control and you can tailor your workout to your ability.

Another point I like to make is that for beginners to group exercise indoor cycling is always a great place to start for those of us that are a little less co-ordinated, if you are the only person going left when everyone else is going right in an aerobics class it’s going to be pretty obvious. When you are riding you are in your own little bubble, you have your own bike and your own space around you, there is no way you can be the only person going in the wrong direction and everyone around you is in their bubble paying no attention to you.

So what can you expect when you giveit a go?

  • Well firstly there is the great music and a motivating instructor; a great combination for a fun packed workout!
  • The difference in a long steep climb to flat out sprints pushes your cardio vascular system to its limits, allowing you to see greater cardiovascular endurance benefits than cycling at a steady pace for a longer period of time in the gym.
  • Rapid calorie burning resulting in body fat loss, without the impact on the joints from exercises such as running.
  • The increase and decrease in resistance along with standing or sitting on the bike often results in increased muscle tone particularly around the stomach, hips and thighs.

What are you waiting for, try a class today and spin yourself slim!

Helpful Herbal Teas!

We are big fans of afternoon tea here at the BodyHoliday as I’m sure many of you know, but did you know that the little afternoon pick me up can actually have many health boosting benefits. Unfortunately I’m not talking about the scones, but next time you stop by the Pavilion at tea time try out one of our herbal teas, besides being a warming, caffeine-free treat adding to your daily water intake, herbal teas can have a range of health benefits.

Here are some of the most common flavours and their benefits, but don’t be afraid to try something new!

Peppermint

  • Can relieve abdominal gas and bloating
  • Can relieve muscle spasms
  • Good for nausea

Ginger

  • Can relieve symptoms of motion sickness; nausea, vomiting, upset stomach
  • Great for aiding digestion

Chamomile

  • Calming and sedative properties
  • Can aid insomnia

Lemon Balm

  • Good for lifting the spirits!
  • Can help with concentration

Dandelion or Milk Thistle

  • Good liver cleansers

Rose Hip

  • Good source of vitamin C

Green Tea

  • Can assist in weight loss
  • Promotes healthy gums

Crank Up Your Cardio!

cardio training

I hear on a daily basis “I’m in the gym for 2 hours a day and I’m not losing any weight”, if this is how you feel, read on before you throw in the towel.

While even paced sessions on the treadmill, cross-trainer or equipment of your choice are keeping your heart healthy and great for boosting your mood, it might not be the wisest way to use your time when you are looking to shed those unwanted pounds.

The human body is an intelligent machine efficiently burning energy, it is also a master adapter and once it gets used to a routine it becomes more efficient so no longer has to work as hard at burning off that energy, resulting in you burning fewer calories and potentially leveling off your speed and endurance gains. When this happens you need to take yourself outside of your comfort zone in order to jump start your metabolism, burn fat, build lean muscle and improve your endurance.

Include Intervals.

High intensity exercise with periods of recovery keeps you feeling energized; keeping the body moving circulates more oxygen increasing mental alertness, burning more calories and attacking fat accumulation.

Try it, after your warm up, increase your speed to all-out effort (you should feel like a 9 on a scale of 1-10!) for 30 seconds to one minute depending on when you fatigue, then recover at a slower pace for 1 to 2 minutes, repeat this cycle up to 10 times to get the benefits of a 60 minute workout in 30 minutes.

Give it a go and let us know how you feel!

Foods that fight the signs of aging

We hear every day about a cream or treatment that can improve the condition of our skin, but there is little exposure or knowledge on foods that can contribute to healthy, glowing skin. So let’s set the record straight, there is truth in the old saying “you are what you eat!”

  • Omega 3 fatty acids found in flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts and salmon reduce redness and inflammation in the skin. Too little omega 3 in the diet may contribute to eczema and psoriasis.
  • Zinc also found in salmon, oysters, mushrooms, venison and sunflower seeds is involved in metabolizing testosterone, which effects the production of oily substances responsible for acne. Zinc is also vital in assisting new cell production to give skin a glow!
  • Vitamin C found in parsley, broccoli, papaya, bell pepper and citrus fruits aid the body’s production of collagen to tighten skin and prevent wrinkles. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties fight free radicals that can damage skin cells and cause premature aging.
  • Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant preventing cell damage, aging and acne as well as reducing dryness. Good sources include carrots, sweet potato, mangoes and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale.
  • Vitamin E found in sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and swiss chard protect the skin from sun damage, help the skin hold in moisture relieving dryness and keeping it looking younger.
  • Vitamin B complex has antioxidant benefits that combat inflammation and assist cells in processing fats to prevent dryness and scaly skin. Good sources include whole grains, buck wheat, avocadoes and mushrooms.

The Benefits of Exercise

We are constantly told that exercise is “good” for us, but have you ever stopped and asked yourself why? Aside from the obvious physical benefits what else are we gaining from our daily activities?

1. Weight management

When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories, but don’t be fooled into thinking you have to slog away for hours in the gym to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can’t do an actual workout, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to get more active throughout the day; take the stairs instead of the elevator (we’ve all heard it a thousand times but it does work!), get off the tube one stop early and walk the rest of the way or simply make more of a workout of your household chores like cleaning or gardening.

2. Combat health conditions and diseases

Regular exercise can help prevent or manage various health conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and type 2 diabetes; talk about motivation to get moving more!

3. Improve mood

Everyone has a day or time when they can feel stressed, angry, sad, lonely, bored, anxious or tired and at this time we look for something to lift our spirits and honestly how many of us have reached for food, cigarettes or alcohol as comfort. But did you know that physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. So next time you feel the bad mood rising take yourself along to a kickboxing class and punch it out rather than reaching for the cookies!

4. Boost energy

Research shows exercise has a direct impact on energy levels, I know when you are feeling tired the last thing on your mind is joining in a fun packed Zumba class, but it really will make you feel more alive. The surge of blood around the body transports oxygen to the brain to make you feel mentally alert, while better conditioned muscles require less effort to perform physical tasks and in time as the body becomes stronger so too does the immune system reducing the risk of illness.

5. Better sleep

Aerobic exercise can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep helping you wake up feeling restored. As we now know physical activity can help fight anxiety and depression which can sometimes be the underlying cause of sleep problems, so being too tired to exercise is no longer an excuse for by passing the gym on the way home!

6. Exercise can be fun

Exercise gives you the chance to meet new people or spend time with family and friends, so work out what activities you enjoy and encourage others to join you to see the amazing benefits and make it a lifestyle change.

PAPAYA AND LIME CHUTNEY RECIPE

Guest at the Bodyholiday paid close attention while Chef Valentine taught how to prepare a mouthwatering Papaya and lime chutney, in our cooking demo class. The best part of the experience, it tastes good and it’s all healthy. Nutritional facts; Papaya is a great source of vitamins A, C and E, its abundance of antioxidants fight free radicals in the body that can cause premature aging while protecting against cell damage and promoting tighter, healthier skin.

Limes are great for alkalizing the body, cleaning out the digestive tract while providing anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

The high beta carotene content of pumpkin makes it an excellent source of vitamin A and helps flush toxins from the body; it is also rich in vitamin C, E and K along with iron, magnesium and potassium. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and low in calories.

Mint is good source of vitamin A along with iron, copper and manganese. It promotes a healthy digestive system and can often relieve nausea.

Now the recipe is all yours. Bon Appetit!!!

Ingredients:

350 grams papaya

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 apple cider vinegar

1/2 rice wine vinegar

1/2 tablespoons red pepper

3 tablespoons of lime

1 cup brown sugar, white sugar

2 tablespoons of ginger

1 tablespoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon green onions

1 tablespoon red onions

2 tablespoons raisins

1 tablespoons cumin powder

Method:

  • Dice the papaya, red\green peppers, onions and ginger.
  • Under low heat pour in the rice wine, white and apple cider vinegar into a pan then gradually add brown and white sugar
  • Then add the papaya and ginger; let it cook for 20 mins
  • Add the peppers, onions, raisins, cinnamon, cumin powder and lime
  • Cook until fruits and vegetables are soft, a little thick and slightly golden brown.
  • Pour into bottles or airtight jars after cooling.

Tricks to stick to your New Year’s Resolution.

Get fit and lose weight are the most commonly broken New Year’s resolutions, but it doesn’t have to be that way this year. Follow these simple steps to making a change towards a healthier, fitter you for 2013!

  • Plan ahead. Planning is an essential part of any long-term strategy or change.
  • Plan your shopping. Make a list of what you actually need from the supermarket and stick to the list. Don’t go shopping hungry as this will tempt you to buy things that look to nice to be left on the shelf!
  • Plan your meals. Sit down on a Sunday and plan your food for the week ahead, look at what you will eat and ensure that you have all the groceries in the house ready.
  • Plan your workouts. Plan your activities and workouts for the week and put them into your diary. Look for potential barriers there may be beforehand and plan how to fit them around your activities rather than let them take place.
  • Set realistic goals. Goal setting is an essential drive and an important factor in motivation. Be realistic in your abilities and what you are looking to achieve.
  • Set SMART goals. Ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound.
  • Be flexible. Set a time frame for your goals but be flexible. Speak to an expert who knows realistically how long things take.
  • Stay focused. Don’t set too many tasks so that you can stay focused. Achieve one goal with 100% effort and success before you plan and move onto the next.
  • Reward yourself. Once you have achieved your goal reward yourself; if you have your eyes on a new pair of shoes use that as your motivation to succeed!